Tiger Paws roar to victory at national championships
Special to the Enquirer
The Hartselle Tiger Paws Dance Team is the high school competition dance team that focuses on jazz, kick and pom technique. The dancers perform at many events throughout the year, including pep rallies, football games, basketball games, Depot Days and other community events.
Over the past two weekends the Tiger Paws competed in regionals, state and the National Dance Team Championship. The Tiger Paws walked away as winners in all competitions.
The UDA (Universal Dance Association) Magic City Regionals were hosted by Thompson High School on Jan. 27. The team won regionals by earning first place in both JV Kick and JV Pom. They also won Best Overall Choreography.
Spain Park hosted the DTU (Dance Team Union) Alabama State Championship Jan. 28. The team won the state title in both categories; JV Kick and JV Pom. The performance team also earned second place in Jazz. Six dancers competed in the solo competition category and Mattie Reynolds was crowned Solo State Champion and Mollie Haskins placed third.
This past weekend, The Tiger Paws competed at The National Dance Team Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. There were more than 500 teams in attendance. It is the largest and oldest dance team championship in the dance world. The Tiger Paws competed in the JV High-kick and JV Pom preliminaries and advanced to finals in both. They competed on Sunday in finals and were crowned JV High-Kick National Champions. The team also finished ninth in the nation in JV Pom.
The competition team is made up of nine dancers and two alternates in seventh through tenth grades including captain Avery Delaney, co-captain Kaitlyn Moore, Sarah Westbrook, Gracie Exum, Maggie, Beth King, Mattie Reynolds, Mollie Haskins, Anna Grace DeLucenay, Aubrey Lott, Pressley Berry and Hailey Scott. Additional performance team members are Katilee Alexander and Charlee Blanton. Team coaches are Jenny Faulk and Tisha Bates.
“We are so proud of this very young team,” Faulk said. “They are hard-working and truly love to dance together. It has been pure joy to watch them grow as dancers and young ladies this year.”
“This team is a true example of hard work and dedication,” she added. “They practice 3-4 days a week after school for three hours a day and their 7th period athletics class. They are great students and are involved in many other activities at school as well.”
This year, Mary Elizabeth Adams also helped with technique classes. Adams was one of the original Tiger Paws when the team was founded in 2017.